Simple Model for the Deformation-Induced Relaxation of Glassy Polymers

S. M. Fielding, R. G. Larson, M. E. Cates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glassy polymers show "strain hardening": at constant extensional load, their flow first accelerates, then arrests. Recent experiments have found this to be accompanied by a striking and unexplained dip in the segmental relaxation time. Here we explain such behavior by combining a minimal model of flow-induced liquefaction of a glass with a description of the stress carried by strained polymers, creating a nonfactorable interplay between aging and strain-induced rejuvenation. Under constant load, liquefaction of segmental motion permits strong flow that creates polymer-borne stress. This slows the deformation enough for the segmental modes to revitrify, causing strain hardening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number048301
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2012


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